Re "Letters to jail inmates limited to postcards" (Page B2, Dec. 15): Starting Feb. 10, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department plans to prohibit all incoming non-legal mail except for postcards. Such a policy would place an enormous burden on the families of incarcerated people and would be bad for public safety.
The Prison Policy Initiative is preparing a report on the harmful effects of these postcard-only policies. Prohibiting personal letter correspondence strains community ties that are essential for rehabilitation and preventing recidivism.
Postcards-only policies deter children from sharing confidential thoughts and feelings with their incarcerated parents. If the sheriff's department wants to increase public safety, it should cancel the proposed postcard-only mail policy. The friends and loved ones of incarcerated people need to maintain the connections that keep families intact.
-- Leah Sakala, Easthampton, Mass.